The Urgency of Palestinian Statehood
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The Urgency of Palestinian Statehood


APLN member Gareth Evans points out that giving Palestinians more legitimacy and heft at the bargaining table serves the goal of securing a sustainable peace.

MELBOURNE – It is time for Israel to recognize the force of the rapidly growing international movement to recognize Palestinian statehood, not as the final outcome of a political settlement but as a path to achieving it. Were Israel to get serious again about pursuing a two-state solution, it would not be rewarding Hamas, but benefiting itself.

The awful reality, as the horrendous attacks of October 7, 2023, made clear, is that without a political solution that satisfies legitimate Palestinian aspirations, Israel will never be free of the specter of terrorism.

My decades of experience with conflict prevention and resolution, including years of talking to all sides in the Middle East, have drummed home the truth that despair can all too easily turn into rage, and then into indefensible outrage. By the same token, the threat of violence diminishes rapidly during those periods of genuine hope for a just and dignified settlement.

To understand the roots of October 7 is not to justify the slaughter of innocents, then or ever. Israel was undoubtedly entitled to respond with all the force that international law allows. But for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government – and those who blindly support it – to remain in denial about those roots, and to offer no political way forward, is simply to invite more of the same. This is especially true now that so many ordinary, decent Palestinians have been displaced, traumatized, and angered by the disproportionate savagery of the Israeli response.

As I have argued elsewhere, the moral, legal, and political case for recognizing Palestinian statehood has always been strong. Some 140 United Nations member states – albeit nearly all of them from the Global South – have already done so. The Gaza war has now lent the issue new relevance and urgency. More and more countries see Israel’s intransigence as not only perpetuating Palestinian misery but also guaranteeing its own.

The full article can be accessed here.

Image: iStock/Yuliia Bukovska